Nowadays choosing the right marketing strategy for your business can be overwhelming. With so many options available it is normal to confuse terms as is the case with inbound marketing and content marketing that, despite being intimately related, are not the same and in this article, we will be explaining how they differ.
The appearance of both terms is recent. The rise of online sales and the massification of the internet gave rise to new ways to connect with the target audience. However, content marketing has a history of techniques such as editing specialized magazines for customers of a brand.
Attract customers for loyalty
For its part, inbound marketing had its first approaches at the end of the 19th century with the use of educational methods to attract customers, rather than using paid advertising to publicize products and services of the time.
In any case, both techniques will help you improve your online presence to get better customers for your brand.
The central idea of both techniques is to generate added value so that you relate more efficiently and to retain potential customers so that they continue to buy your products and help you to publicize your brand.
What is inbound marketing?
Let’s start by defining what inbound marketing is. The emergence of this technique coincides with the gradual adoption of the internet by users. As technology advances, consumption patterns also change, not only in terms of purchases but in how customers relate to brands.
In addition, traditional media has gradually been transformed thanks to streaming and multimedia devices. For example, TV consumption has significantly lowered what detracts effectivity from traditional marketing strategies.
Online marketing techniques
Inbound marketing consists of applying a series of strategies and techniques to attract the consumer to your website or social media profiles. The idea is that the customer will find you at their own pace when they need one of your products and services, unlike outbound marketing where techniques are usually invasive and focused on sales.
The basic premise of inbound marketing is to bring the right content at the right time to the user. This includes a variety of channels ranging from blogs to email campaigns, as well as videos, tutorials, and any content that helps create brand awareness.
But that’s just one of the phases of inbound marketing. You should also consider other tools to turn the prospect into a customer and retain it through personalized content to give you a pleasant after-sales experience.
Some experts also define inbound marketing as a strategy to gain customer attention rather than renting it as is the case with advertisements in press, television and other mass media.
What is content marketing?
For its part, when we talk about this type of marketing it is usual to think about creating content to increase the traffic of your website, as well as to publicize the brand. You can also create offline content such as magazines, catalogs, and other printed materials.
Although the term content marketing is recent, some companies have been implementing it for decades. For example, in the food sector, it is common to give away prescriptions with the company’s products, which helps increase sales and brand authority offline.
However, content marketing is now more associated with the online side. Especially with the creation of content that can be consumed and shared with greater ease. In addition, you may not have a call-to-action or a sales approach.
Content designed for the user
Blogs, tutorials, guides, and videos are some of the tactics you can use within your content marketing strategy. What you are looking for is that the potential customer finds you on their own to solve a specific problem with your products.
This type of content can create an affinity for the brand, even if the sale is not made. Content marketing results are often medium- and long-term, but as customers learn to ignore advertising, this type of strategy helps you build more lasting relationships.
Differences between inbound marketing and content marketing
Content marketing has very specific purposes and does not include other techniques such as SEO or paid ads on the internet, as its scope is limited to generating traffic to your website while improving the brand image.
Inbound marketing is a complete strategy that covers all phases and processes ranging from lead acquisition to after-sales service. Content marketing is one of the techniques used in inbound marketing and has more limited scope to achieve your company’s goals.
This technique seeks to create quality content that can be distributed and shared in other media to attract customers among the target audience. However, this does not detract importance from content marketing, in fact, it is the fundamental pillar of any inbound strategy.
Inbound marketing: global strategy
For its part, inbound marketing has a holistic approach as it combines different techniques such as lead generation, search engine optimization, targeted ads, and email marketing. At the heart of it all is the creation of content that serves to attract the customer to your website.
Also, content marketing does not necessarily require actions by your user or customer. The main goal is to publicize your brand and improve its reputation. In inbound marketing, the attraction is an essential part, but you need to take action in each of its four phases.
To know what’s right for your business, you need to define what the goals you want to achieve are. If you just want to offer better user experience and maintain brand awareness, content marketing might be enough. Whereas, if you want to increase your sales and retain the customer, inbound marketing is the solution.
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